An investigation into the challenges faced by new banks in Zimbabwe and strategies to increase profitability and market share: A case of Ecobank Zimbabwe
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The Zimbabwean banking sector suffered profitability challenges between 2006 and 2008 due to hyperinflation in the Zimbabwean economy during that time. This period ended in March 2009 when the Government of National Unity operating in Zimbabwe during that period introduced a multi-currency system which led to banks opening new foreign currency accounts for their existing customers. The Zimbabwe dollar (ZWD) accounts were set aside. In 2012, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced a new policy on mandatory capitalization levels for financial service providers. Ecobank is new to the Zimbabwean market, having joined the Zimbabwean banking sector in 2011 after acquiring Premier Merchant Bank Holdings. It is wholly owned by Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) established in 1985 under the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ECOWAS) initiatives. Since 2011, Ecobank has struggled to increase market share and profitability against older banks, regardless of numerous marketing and branding efforts. This study aimed to understand the nature of challenges faced by Ecobank since coming to Zimbabwe with the aim of generalising the information to other banks seeking to enter new markets. A qualitative study was carried out over a period of six months among the Ecobank branches located in Harare. Ecobank was used as a case study for new banks in Zimbabwe. Key informant interviews were carried out with eight senior managers from six out of the eleven Ecobank branches. Results show that market share and profitability are affected by client attitude, length of operating period, government regulations, media reports, and service quality and to some extent technology and marketing efforts. It was concluded that market perception is a major challenge in Zimbabwe. Strategies to increase market share and profitability include improved corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, increased use of technology and innovation as well as branding.
Additional Citation InformationNjokoya, H. (2013). An investigation into the challenges faced by new banks in Zimbabwe and strategies to increase profitability and market share: A case of Ecobank Zimbabwe. (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Zimbabwe.
Foreign currency accounts
Financial service providers